Pat Knight, son of Bob, coaches the Lamar Cardinals tonight against UK at Rupp Arena. That brings to mind Bob Knight’s annual on-the-floor battles with the Cats. A recap:
- As a young coach at Army, Knight’s team lost to Adolph Rupp and Kentucky 80-65 in the finals of the 1968 UKIT at Memorial Coliseum. After becoming coach at Indiana, Knight beat Rupp 90-89 in overtime in Louisville in 1971.
- Knight won his first four games against Joe B. Hall, but then ended up just
9-9 8-8 against the Kentucky coach. There was the infamous head-slap game in 1974 in which IU routed the Cats 98-74 and Knight either tapped or slapped Hall on the back of the head, depending on your interpretation of events. Kentucky got revenge later that same season by knocking off an undefeated IU 92-90 in the Mideast Region final in Dayton. Hall won five of the last seven meetings between the two coaches, which may have had something to do with their relationship going south.
- Eddie Sutton and Bob Knight split their four meetings before an NCAA investigation cost Sutton his job at UK. Kentucky won a memorable 82-76 overtime game at the RCA Dome on Dec. 5, 1987. In all, Knight was 3-2 in overtime games against Kentucky. He won the first three but lost the last two.
- Knight won his first two games against Rick Pitino, but when the UK coach was able to fortify his roster, the dynamic change. Pitino won five of his last six meetings with Indiana, leaving Knight as 3-5 against Ricky P. In their last meeting, Dec. 7, 1996, Pitino’s Cats destroyed Knight’s Hoosiers 99-65 in Freedom Hall.
- Knight lost his first two meetings with Tubby Smith, but did beat UK on Dec. 4, 1999 by an 83-75 count at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. That turned out to be the final meeting between Knight and UK. His final record was 15-18.
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